Leadership is influence. To be a leader doesn’t mean you are the boss, it means that you influence people. You influence the decisions they make, you influence the way they talk and the things they buy, you influence how they treat other people. Some people have zero influence on those around them, that is being a non-leader. Others have huge influence on people, not just those they know well but also complete strangers. Some of our influence is simply a personality thing, but most of our influence is because of specific things we say and do because we have learned the skill and the art of leading people. I teach leadership every year at JBC. This year I am going to be teaching 5 different classes each week on how to be a leader. It is probably the most enjoyable and rewarding thing I do, and I can’t hardly wait for the first week in October when the classes begin. Over the last 40 years I have made the pursuit of Leadership excellence my main goal and passion. I have read literally hundreds of books on the topic, I have gone to many seminars taught by gifted leaders, and listened to hours of lectures and sermons on-line.
I am not a gifted or natural leader who can influence by the strength of his personality or charisma, but often those who are tend to rely on that giftedness and never really become a student of the skill or art of leading people. One of the most important principles to understand is that “authority” that is not power, position, or title but is a very special magnetism that attracts people to you and prompts them to listen and follow comes from God as a reward for certain kinds behavior. When Jesus spoke and taught the crowds it says that they marveled because he taught with authority.
The main requirement for God to give me His authority is to be faithful. Jesus said, “you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things”. To be faithful is to keep your commitments and promises no matter how small or insignificant those commitments might be. Do what you said you would do, be where you said you would be, be a person others trust and can count on. Faithfulness is a character trait, it is a way of thinking, it is a learned discipline, and it is very pleasing to God and one that He rewards greatly.